Claiming Sabah’s rights under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) is the top priority of the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government, says Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Shafie, who is Warisan president, said that had been clearly stated in the party’s manifesto for the 14th general election, and thus, should be heard and respected by the federal government.
"For certain, claiming Sabah’s rights under MA63 will be our top priority so that it will not just be heard by the federal government, but for the federal government to fulfil the claim by the Sabah people on their rights in the formation of Malaysia.
"We love our country, but in loving the country, we need not only be respected, be heard, to know what the Sabah’s rights are, and everything that is contained in the agreement, which should not only be fulfilled, but executed well,” he told reporters after the opening of the 5th FCASS International Dragon Boat Race by Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin in Kota Kinabalu today.
Shafie said fulfilling the claims by the Sabah people of their rights under MA63 was a move at further strengthening unity and solidarity of the Malaysian people.
"It’s not only respect for one another, but by fulfilling the rights , I believe it provides the ingredient, which the Malaysians in Sabah have been waiting for more than 50 years, to make it work,” he added.
Shafie noted the people of the whole of Sabah had the right to enjoy the benefits of development, instead of focusing it at certain towns, such as Kota Kinabalu.
Rural areas like Kunak, Pensiangan and Sipitang still need development, he added.
However, he said, developing the rural areas would take time as it could not be done in one or two years.
He expressed confidence that with the cooperation of all quarters, including the state and federal government’s administrative system, cooperation between the state and federal governments, and preparedness to ensure a balanced development in the country, Sabah would not be left behind.
On the new state cabinet, Shafie said the list, which included the creation of two new ministries, had been submitted to the governor.
He said the line-up of the state cabinet would symbolise cooperation between Warisan and Pakatan Harapan.
On the participation of Warisan in the federal cabinet, Shafie said he had submitted a few names to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for consideration.